Making a Difference

Making a Difference

May 1, 2023

10 minute Read

By Shaneen Calvo, Editor, CAR WASH Magazine

Each year, car wash organizations contribute countless hours and dollars to the communities they serve. We want to make sure we're capturing those stories and highlighting that impact. So in every issue of CAR WASH Magazine, we’ll be shedding light on some of these good deeds.

Breeze Thru Car Wash

Breeze Thru Car Wash

Breeze Thru Car Wash

Sometimes it can be hard to make a decision on which causes are most important to you. There are so many in need and so many that will make really meaningful differences. Breeze Thru Car Wash came up with a plan: Host at least one fundraising event per month at each of its 12 locations — so a whole variety of causes could benefit and they didn’t have to pick just one. During the site fundraisers, Breeze Thru donated one dollar per washed car during fundraiser event hours or $400, depending on which number was greater.

“We love making a difference in our local community and are proud to say in 2022 we donated over $98,000 to local organizations through our FUNdraising efforts,” said Jenifer Wilcher, administrator at Breeze Thru.

In 2022, Breeze Thru fundraisers resulted in:

  • $63,710 raised during site fundraisers for 70 community organizations
  • $20,010 raised for Larimer County Search and Rescue
  • $6,843 raised for the Cheyenne Soccer Club
  • $7,770 raised for Wildlands Restoration Volunteers

“At Breeze Thru Car Wash, giving back to the community is woven into the fabric of who we are as a company. We truly care about the communities in which we live and work, and we believe that for a community to thrive, it requires the efforts of all its members,” Wilcher said. As such, they are upping their game in 2023 by allowing up to two fundraisers per month per location and increasing the fundraising amount to $500 per four-hour event. “We have a big goal for 2023 of donating $125,000 to different organizations within our communities,” Wilcher said. “We really enjoy giving back to our communities and are excited about our 2023 fundraising season.”

Turbo Shine Car Wash

Turbo Shine Car Wash

Turbo Shine Car Wash

Turbo Shine Car Wash doesn’t just market itself as a car wash that cares, they really do. And, they stand behind it with the fundraising efforts they conduct during the year and the impressive amount of money ($246,478) and time (1,148 volunteer hours) they’ve contributed.

Turbo Shine partners with the Ticket to Dream Foundation to help foster kids just be kids. “Many kids enter foster care with little to no belongings of their own. These children have experienced enough fear and uncertainty, and need our community’s care,” said ICA member Hernani Alves, CEO of Turbo Shine. Their goal is to help Ticket to Dream Foundation achieve its goal of ensuring the over 400,000 children in foster youth have the support they need to thrive and the childhood memories that create hope for a better tomorrow.

Some of the fundraising initiatives have included:

  • $2 donated for every Best Care Wash sold.
  • All the profits from its heart air freshener are donated to Ticket to Dream Foundation.
  • Nearly $250,000 donated for foster kids.
  • Over 576 backpacks filled with school supplies in 2022.

Sgt Clean Car Wash

Sgt. Clean Car Wash

Sgt. Clean Car Wash

“When I think of Christmas, I aways remember the older Marine Corps commercial advertising its Toys for Tots campaign. This commercial showed me that the Marines were more than just fighting in major conflicts. They were making an impact locally in their communities,” said Brian Krusz, who went on to join the Marine Corps. Now a veteran and the founder of Sgt. Clean Car Wash, Krusz wants to carry this forward. “In keeping with the Marine Corp motto, Semper Fidelis, it is important to be faithful to the communities that we serve and to my fellow Marines, aiding them in their fundraising efforts,” he said. “It is a vital part of our mission.”

Krusz said they started collecting Toys for Tots during COVID, in conjunction with their annual food drive. “It provided a safe way for our customers to help with our local efforts of giving back to those in need. People love helping others.” Plus, the donations they collected stayed in Northeast Ohio. “It is extra special keeping these donations local. People like helping people in their backyard,” Krusz said.

Everyone who donated received a complimentary car wash and all six of their car wash locations participated in 2022. Krusz estimated a total of 240 toys were donated.

“It has been a very successful program for us,” Krusz said. “We are grateful for the blessings we have and being able to aid those in need. We are very happy to be part of this amazing program!

Scrubadub Auto Wash Centers, Inc

Scrubadub Auto Wash Centers, Inc.

Scrubadub Auto Wash Centers, Inc.

In November 2022, ScrubaDub – which has been family-owned and operated since 1966 — teamed up with Community Servings, a nonprofit food and nutrition program, for the 30th annual Pie in the Sky fundraiser and raised over $40,000 to provide meals to neighbors in need.

ScrubaDub offered free express washes to customers who purchased a $30 charity Thanksgiving pie or donated $30 online to provide a week’s worth of meals to critically ill neighbors in need. Additionally, motorists visiting any of ScrubaDub’s 20 tunnel locations in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island received free Simoniz UltraShine when donating $5 to Community Servings in stores.

Each donation supported home-delivered nutritious meals to neighbors and their caretakers throughout Massachusetts living with critical illnesses such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, heart disease, diabetes and more. ScrubaDub employees also volunteer in Community Servings kitchen every year preparing and packaging meals for neighbors in need.

“As a family-run business deeply rooted in the community, we understand the importance of giving back. We passionately support Community Servings’ mission to provide medically tailored, nutritious meals to critically ill individuals and their families,” said ICA member Mathew Paisner, ScrubaDub director of business development.

Over the past eight years, the car wash has contributed over $200,000 to Community Servings and donated over $300,000 of in-kind car wash services to customers who help them support the cause.

“We are grateful for ScrubaDub's dedication to our mission and their continued support for the communities that both of our organizations serve,” said David B. Waters, CEO of Community Servings.

Soapy Joe's Car Wash

Soapy Joe's Car Wash

Soapy Joe’s Car Wash

Soapy Joe’s Car Wash in San Diego County has contributed two million dollars over the past 11 years to various nonprofits. Add 100,000 free washes to that, and you’ll start to understand the kind of impact Soapy Joe’s wants to make in its communities.

In 2022, Soapy Joe’s kicked off the year with its Magic Pet Parade and Adoption Event, covering up to $20,000 in adoption fees at the event for pets to find new homes. It also hosted its seventh annual Soapy Joe’s Day — San Diego city’s official designation every April — offering the entire community free car washes and pledging $15,000 to support three local charities: Helen Woodward Animal Center, Support the Enlisted Project (STEP), and the Emilio Nares Foundation. By including three charities, Soapy Joe’s was able to engage more of the community’s range of interests and causes and encouraged them to vote on their favorite charity to receive the largest donation.

The fundraisers in 2022 were reflective of the creativity apparent in all of Soapy Joe’s community initiatives — especially during COVID, when a customized approach to helping others was a necessity. For example, in 2020, the family-owned and operated business created a bespoke “Soapy Gives $100” program to help hard-hit businesses. The company purchased $10,000 worth of local services, then surprised Soapy Joe’s customers with random $100 gift cards to spend at these businesses. In 2021, $10,000 was donated to the San Diego Center for Children as part of the annual Soapy Joe’s Day. And to close out 2021, Soapy Joe’s partnered with BIG-FM for its Fill the Bus campaign collecting 1,303 pounds of non-perishable food donations for the San Diego Food Bank to help end food insecurity.

“In San Diego County, Soapy Joe’s has become a household name due to its one-of-a-kind events to give back to the community,” said ICA member Anne Mauler, VP of marketing.

Take 5 Car Wash

Take 5 Car Wash

Take 5 Car Wash

Take 5 Car Wash serves communities all across the country and prioritizes its local fundraising efforts at every location. “We strive to give back to those in need in the communities in which we live and work,” said Devon Prince, communications lead. “It is important that we become positively involved in each one.”

But there was one fundraising effort that really stood out in 2022: Metropolitan Ministries.

Shortly after Hurricane Ian hit, Take 5 Car Wash wanted to find an organization that was doing a lot of good work to support the greater Tampa and Florida communities. Employees were asked to share their recommendations, one of which was Metropolitan Ministries. “They were doing a lot to serve the area and better the lives of those in the surrounding communities,” Prince said.

So, Take 5 set up a two-part fundraiser. During the grand opening in Tampa, they had a pop-up donation screen on days they were offering free washes to customers. They also committed to donating $5 for every Take 5 Unlimited membership sold, resulting in a total donation amount of $7,556.

The whole team got involved and took the fundraising to heart. “Our employees were very supportive of this fundraiser and spoke with customers about the organization and why we were raising funds to support them,” Prince said.

Take 5’s donation will support Metropolitan Ministries’ comprehensive services for at-risk and homeless families in underserved and impoverished communities.

“Fundraising and community involvement continues to be a top priority for our washes and overall company culture,” Prince said. “As we become more involved in the communities we serve, we become more than a car wash and our employees become even more engaged with customers and their community.”

Super Star Car Wash

Super Star Car Wash

Super Star Car Wash

Super Star Car Wash’s goal is to be woven into the fabric of the communities it serves. Most notably, Super Star has been the Pay It Forward sponsor in partnership with local Arizona broadcast conglomerate Arizona’s Family and its annual Paul’s Car Wash. The yearly fundraiser, spearheaded by meteorologist Paul Horton, raises funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona. “During the pandemic, Super Star and its customers stepped up in a big way to donate $15,000 and helped the fundraiser find alternate ways to raise funds since the community event was shut down,” said Brian O'Malley, senior director of public relations at Super Star. “Over the past four years, Super Star and its customers have contributed more than $57,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona.”

Over the past year, Super Star has provided support to more than 100 organizations in Arizona and California — and as it has expanded into Texas and Colorado, explored strategic partnerships in those locations, as well. In addition to Little League baseball, cheer sponsorships, local high school football and fundraisers, and charity golf tournaments, Super Star has formed strategic partnerships with the Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres foundations, too. Super Star also supports charities such as Advocacy31nine, a nonprofit with a mission to advocate for the educational success of children impacted by foster care, and HALO Animal Rescue, an animal advocacy group creating life-saving strategies to save as many animals’ lives as possible.

Super Star’s community support also extends across its employees. Each year, Super Star employees unite on Veterans Day to create care packages for active-duty service members currently in deployment. This event, titled KUPDeployment, is hosted by local radio station 98KUPD.

Express Wash Concepts

Express Wash Concepts

Express Wash Concepts — 2022 Community Impact Award Winner!

When you think about an air freshener, do you consider it powerful? Express Wash Concepts knows how potently powerful they can be, after one of its 2022 air freshener campaigns raised more than $112,000 in just two months for local nonprofits.

Express Wash Concepts operates over 78 express car wash locations throughout Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina. Brands include Moo Moo Express Car Wash, Flying Ace Express Car Wash, Clean Express Auto Wash, Green Clean Express Auto Wash and Clean Express Auto Wash. Philanthropically driven, the company executes four brand-wide donation campaign initiatives each year, with two of these campaigns being month-long air freshener campaigns. They are typically held in March and September and feature customer-favorite scents that are only available during the campaign: “Sweet Pea” in the spring and “Pumpkin Spice” in the fall.

The grassroots campaign is simple: Customers can purchase a special edition air freshener for $1, with 100% of collected proceeds donated back to designated nonprofits. As an added incentive, customers can scan a QR code on the back of the air freshener for a chance at winning unlimited washes for a year. Nonprofit partners are selected by team members at each wash location, and each site works together to establish a goal of how many air fresheners they intend to sell.

“The camaraderie between our team members, customers and local organizations is amazing. We not only bring awareness to so many nonprofit missions, but positively impact their operating budgets during a time when it is much needed,” said ICA member John Roush, Express Wash Concepts chief executive officer.

Participating non-profits range from animal welfare, youth advocacy and sports teams, to community food banks and social welfare organizations. In 2022, Express Wash Concepts donated more than $490,000 to community organizations through their donation campaigns, towel exchange program and grand opening initiatives.

Share Your Good Deeds

Submit your community impact contributions at to be considered for ICA’s Community Impact Award. We’ll feature submissions all year long in CAR WASH Magazine.


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